Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Finally, Something to Like about LA

Company offsite last week in Los Angeles and a chance to visit three outstanding restaurants. Of Bastide, Valentino and Grace, the former was the clear winner, though all were exceptional and a wonderful time.

The highlight of Grace--my highlight (much of the rest of the group thought the outstanding female clientele in the main room was the apex of the experience)--was the Fred Flinstone size braised pork shank. In fact, it was sooooo good and sooooo big, I remember little else about the experience. Not even apparently the most beautiful bodies money can buy. Couldn't even eat the dessert--a specially concocted cheese plate (3.5/5).

No rating--don't bother, better choices around every corner for the same or less money.
1/5 I will eat here, but something is always left wanting, food or service or something.
2/5 Good food. Not always consistent. Decent value eating.
3/5 Solid. Consistent. You look for reasons to eat here.
4/5 Excellent. You will not be disappointed even if it cost more.
5/5 Beyond a meal. An experience, like going to the opera at la Scala or watching your team win the World Series.

Valentino was--well--Valentino (4/5). Terrific high-end Italian fare with flair and spectacular wine. Me? I had Osso Buco--very traditional and high quality. I was on a shank binge that week. Superb homemade pasta. Wonderful Cheese. But the highlight? Locally made burrata--seems they found an artesian cheese maker from Puglia, living North of LA and willing to make the cheese for them--what are the odds. The buttery, melty premium mozzarella made from Water Buffalo milk (significantly higher fat content than cows) must be eaten the day it is made (or at least within 3 days). A little fresh olive oil and salt. Done! Finished with a spectacular grappa (and I don't even like Grappa)--Berta "Roccanivo" Grappa de Barbera.

Bastide deserves its own post, which I will add soon.


Blogger Zatoichi said...

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles is yet another thing to like about L.A., in addition to the Dodgers. I understand they (Roscoe's, not the Dodgers) have recently opened a branch in Oakland. Think of the combo this way: bacon, ham and sausage go well with waffles. Why not chicken?

11:13 PM  

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